Don’t Let Best Be the Enemy of Good

perfection pursuit girls
Image via Galit Breen

The lights dim. Familiar strains fill the auditorium from worn, speckled carpet to high, open ceiling. They tap onto the stage united by a year’s worth of well-practiced steps. I straighten in my chair whispering, “Here they come,” in Brody’s ear as I slide him into my lap and wrap my arms around his fourness.

Through the swirl of glitter and sequins and sparkle and more glitter, I’m glued to my girls’ shine.

As the audience quiets and breathes them in, I cheer for them. I want them to know that the loudest applause is theirs. This happens each time one of them takes the stage. The straightening and the whispering and the cheering, followed by their absolutely stunning cheek-raising.

They swish and turn, and I am awe struck. By their glitter and glitz, and moves and steps, yes. Of course. But mostly by their smiles.

I'm lost in the fact that they don’t notice or dwell on wrong taps or missed turns. They try, they dance, they’re happy.

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I think about my own choices, my own risks, my own ways and wonder if I do the same. Or if I spend more time wondering what I missed, what I didn’t do, what I could have done better?

What if we all stepped through life like young girls do at dance recitals? Shoulders back, chins tipped, cheeks raised, lips poised at the ready with: I did it

Moments like these when we don’t allow best to be the enemy of good are where the glitter lies. Where we plant our feet in fun and shine without worrying about crisp lines or smaller sizes, dusted tables or freshly mown lawns.

I say we can do this, too.

We can tap our way across life’s many stages just like our girls do – without letting the possibility of imperfection halt us…

Invite friends over to a messy house, hug away tired kids’ complaints at a birthday party, bring store bought cookies to a pot luck, go for a 2 mile run when we don’t have time for a 5.

Do what we can and not apologizing for it.

Living without the strings of my own expectations weighing me down sounds… freeing. 

This freedom is what I’m thinking about when the girls' recital ends. I make my way backstage to gather my heartstrings. 

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A mother wipes her eyes, a grandmother kisses a glittery-cheeked girl, a high school boy — with one hand in his pocket — holds a flower out to a willowy dancer. They all beam. And I know, with every fiber of my being, that not a single one of them is thinking about what they could have done more or different or better.

And when I see my girls, their words and their smiles and their eyes confirm — they're not focused on the moves they missed, they’re too busy glowing about the steps they nailed.

Don’t let best be the enemy of good, indeed.

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Don’t Let Best Be the Enemy of Good

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

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8 comments

  1. Galit Breen says:

    I absolutely love the way you worded this! And oh my, YES, I so relate!

    thank you for your words, they mean the world to me!

  2. ohmymarta says:

    So unbelievably true. I spend so much time in the past wondering what I should have done different or daydreaming about the future that I am so rarely enjoying the imperfect present.

  3. Galit Breen says:

    Thank you so much for your note!

    (*Truly)

  4. Galit Breen says:

    Yes, that. Exactly that. Thank you for your words, and for the InItTogetherness. Both mean the world to me!

  5. cyu888 says:

    I love this perspective Galit. Yes! We need to focus on those steps that we’ve nailed rather than dwell on the ones we missed. It IS freeing.

  6. Galit Breen says:

    Thanks, friend. So very much!

  7. Alison Lee says:

    Wise words as always, Galit.

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